When I first heard drivers license by Olivia Rodrigo I was instantly hooked. I don’t typically gravitate towards ballads but there was something about this song that just felt a little different. Perhaps it was the vulnerable songwriting or maybe it was the surprisingly powerful vocal prowess of 17-year-old Olivia Rodrigo. Either way, I knew there was something special about this girl. Wow, I’m really talking about this like my opinion actually matters…
In all seriousness though, the older I get, the less I enjoy popular music. I pretty much exclusively listen to 2000s pop music and myspace favourites – in short, I don’t have a lot of time for new artists because this old lady thinks that most of what the kids are listening to these days is utter garbage. So believe me when I say it really did mean something when I listened to all Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album Sour and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The 17-year-old in me really appreciated the nostalgia factor of this album, it’s all teen angst, insecurity and heartbreak, all things I personally believe I am a seasoned connoisseur of. I also really respect that Olivia Rodrigo writes all of her music, it feels particularly authentic considering how young she is. No shade to Hilary Duff (I still love you) but the teen albums I grew up listening to don’t quite hit the spot the way Sour does. I actually really wish that this album was around when I was younger, I just know I would have absolutely immersed myself in it. I would have imagined that the lyrics somehow matched my much less interesting story of getting my heart stomped on, you know, just the usual teen girl stuff.
Olivia Rodrigo cites Taylor Swift and Alanis Morrisette as the main influences on this album and honestly, it really shows. There’s a nice mix of very specific lyrics, pretty sounding vocals and melodic yelling – this is pretty much the perfect combo for an album which is nearly exclusively about heartbreak. And honestly, sometimes the heartbreak story feels a little repetitive, but what do you expect? The destruction of teen romance is something all on its own.
As for Olivia herself, there is something just so fascinating about the debut album of someone who has all the makings of being a bonafide ~star~. It’s exciting to know how much of a career Olivia Rodrigo still has ahead of her, I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing where it goes.
Clash Magazine 119, Olivia Rodrigo photographed by Lindsay Ellary
In the meantime, I’ll be head banging to the opening track and listening to this album in my headphones so my toddler doesn’t hear all the swear words. See, not that much has changed since I was a teenager after all…
Are you an Olivia Rodrigo fan? I’ve read enough album reviews to comfortably say that us Y Gen compadres have the green light to enjoy Sour. I promise you, we’re not too old.